1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
Currently I’m living and working in Baltimore, Maryland, though I still own a home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I grew up in Santa Fe, at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains, and still love to ski, hike and camp. It’s very different living next to the Chesapeake Bay. I also enjoy travel, and just got back from a trip to France and Iceland this past summer. My family consists of a partner, two basset hounds, and three cats.
2) How long have you been writing?
I started writing about two years ago, and published my first novel six months later. It’s been quite a wild ride. I did work in newspapers at one time, but I worked as an editor and didn’t write much. A friend and I were discussing the new phenomena of self-publishing and I mentioned that I had a story I thought people might like. She encouraged me to try and write it. I asked a couple of friends if they would like to read it and they were very encouraging.
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
I can write almost anywhere. I’ve written in restaurants, airports, and on planes. Most of the time I just sit on my couch with my laptop.
4) Why did you decide to write Broken Dolls?
I had a character but didn’t have a story for her. I actually planned to put her in a far-future science fiction setting. A friend kept telling me I should try to write a mystery because she likes mysteries. In a strange, meandering way, my character became a private investigator and I developed a story idea about human trafficking that I’d been playing with for a while.
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I like the main character, RB Kendrick. I always project some of myself into my major characters, and I like how down to earth she is. I also like Rebecca, who is a major character in my other books. She makes an appearance in the latter third of this book.
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
That’s easy. Siegfried the pimp. I didn’t make any effort to give him any redeeming qualities.
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I proofread and edit multiple times. I also have an editor who goes through the book at least twice, once through the first draft, and then again through the final draft. No one is really qualified to edit their own writing. You see what is supposed to be there, not what’s really there. Also, if something is confusing or doesn’t really convey the correct idea, I know what it means. Another person will point those things out. I also had six beta readers go through the manuscript and make comments and suggestions. Several of those people work as professional editors, though they’re reading my books as a favor to me. They aren’t gentle with their criticisms.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like the outdoors and I like to travel. I enjoy fine dining as well as cook outs in the back yard. I like live music. I’ve started to get into photography a little bit, but I’m not very good at it yet. As I’m writing this, I’m looking at the pouring rain outside and thinking that the Renaissance Festival tomorrow will probably be a mud pit.
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I’m a voracious reader, and read everything from fantasy to history to politics. I have a lot of favorite writers, but I really enjoy Ann Bishop and Jacqueline Carey in fantasy. Nora Roberts for romances, but I tend toward her JD Robb mysteries and her fantasies. I grew up reading Steinbeck and Heinlein and Tolstoy.
10) How would you characterize your books?
My books are fantasies filled with action but also with interaction between the characters. I write women who I would want to hang out with. Reviewers have called Brenna O’Donnell, the main character in my first three books, everything from a heartless bitch to a Mary Sue. I’m rather proud of that. She’s complex. Too many female characters, especially in books for young women, are lacking in depth. I’m not interested in simple, predictable people.